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Opinion

  • Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I listened to an audiobook–Deliver Us from Normal–and one sentence from a very long book hung in my mind for days.

    “Mom made us hot cocoa–with salt.”

    Boy, did that bring back memories.

    As a treat on cold winter nights, my mother would take out the Hershey cocoa powder and make a pot full of steaming hot chocolate.

    In the days before Swiss Miss powder or Quik, Hershey’s cocoa was a staple in our home.

    I’d forgotten how good it was but that one sentence brought it all back.

  • Levy County is in a gossip frenzy. All it took was someone being out of the office, someone being added to the federal grand jury indictment that resulted in two Levy County commissioner being suspended and folks with nothing better to do than stoke the flames.

    The first::

    Sheriff Johnny Smith has not been arrested. This tidbit has been hanging around for weeks and keeps cropping up anew.

    Smith’s spokesman has said the sheriff has no comment — a number of times.

    This has just got to be hurting Smith’s family and we empathize.

  • To the editor:

    My grandmother had many sayings she liked to repeat to us growing up. One of her favorites was “everyone can afford soap and water.” I always thought this to be true until recently. Like many others, I was laid off earlier this year. At first I was not worried, I’m a hard worker with great references. I thought I could get another job very soon. That was over five months ago.

  • To the editor:

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank each participant and those who had the desire but were not able to participate in this year’s Christmas and Winter Festival.

    I would also like to thank the business leaders and members of the Greater Chiefland Area Chamber of Commerce for entrusting its leadership to me twice over the past five years.

    I am stepping down this year, but stepping up to the challenge of bringing and supporting businesses within our area.

  • Our Chiefland Indian roundballers are suffering. Several weeks ago the teams’ uniforms were stolen and to date they have not been recovered.

    Last week Sports Editor Jenna McKenna detailed the plight of our student athletes and made an appeal for the community to help.

    We echo that appeal as we believe the representatives of our school deserve better than the hand that was dealt them.

  • To the editor:

    I buy gas for my car in Alachua County. They added a 5 cents per gallon tax this year. I don’t buy gas in Alachua County to give my money to their county. I buy gas in Alachua County because it is cheaper than Chiefland. Anywhere from 11 cents to 20 cents a gallon cheaper.

    I would be helping the seller of Chiefland gas to take advantage of me if I bought gas in Chiefland. Just watch, the price of gas in Chiefland will drop. It always does the day a complaining letter is published - slowly to rise again.

    Dale Burns

  • It has been a roller coaster of a year for me, both personally and professionally.

    And for the most part, the roller coaster hasn’t stopped long enough for me to get my bearings.

    If you’re a roller coaster enthusiast, you know what that means: you tend to be a little scattered when it does come to a halt and you’re not always sure you’re standing on firm ground.

  • For the past several weeks, the Chiefland Citizen has been upgrading its Web site to bring our online readers more features.

    If you are an online user, you may have noticed slideshows of events, an interactive community calendar that YOU control and a place to sign up for e-mail alerts.

    This week, we added our first video about a house that burned Monday and by the end of the week there will be a place for readers to start blogging on topics of interest in Levy County. It’s called the Forum and it will be found under the Opinion tab.

  • To the editor:

    Another Veterans Day has passed, the parades and cook-outs are but another memory. I wonder how you spent your day on Nov.11.

    Each year at this time, I personally dread the duty of accompanying my husband on his hectic schedule of events, through the week of Veterans Day. Not because it is hectic - because I must witness the pain that these veterans feel over the disrespect that they encounter along the way, from a citizenry that purports to love their county and the veterans that keep them safe and free.

  • It’s  no secret–the recent economic decline has affected not only banks and automakers, but the newspaper industry as well.

    With a decrease in revenues across the country, newspapers, especially daily newspapers, have been hit hard.

    Thankfully, it hasn’t severely impacted us on the local level–yet.

    But we’re taking precautions before it impacts us.

  • It’s Tuesday night as I write this and meteorologists have threatened that this will be a night that sees temperatures plummeting below freezing.

    I am not concerned.

    Growing up in abject poverty in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, I know what cold weather is.

    It is not Levy County, Florida at its coldest.

    My childhood home was a sprawling old house that had one coal heater in the middle of the living room to heat the entire house.

    It failed miserably.

  • To the editor:

        I have a number of concerns about Regional Water plans.

    I don’t know how a regional water system ever can be more cost effective. Many more miles of water lines will be needed to support this compared to an individual city system (plus booster stations, etc.) At this time I don’t believe any of our planners, including city users, have any idea what their future water needs will be – 5 years, 10 years, etc.

  • To the editor:

        I wish to express my deepest sorrow and dismay over the recent allegations involving our two county commissioners. In addition, I wish to convey my sincere appreciation and gratitude for the successes and accomplishments, past and present, of all our county commissioners.

        Many of us are experiencing difficult and laborious times of social and economic transformations and reconstruction, especially, during this time of the the holiday period.

  •  To the editor:

     Two hundred thirty three years ago at Tun Tavern, Pa. The Corps was born and they've been around ever since, answering our country's call and fighting for what they believed in.

    They were in the Revolution, picking off boarders from the fighting tops. They were with Old Hickory at New Orleans. They fought in the malaria ridden Florida swamps.

  •  It's been a rough three weeks in Levy County.

    First School Board member Billy Morrison was charged with a misdemeanor.

    This week we learned Chiefland community leader Mary Marshall was under investigation for embezzlement.

    Then comes the news late Wednesday that Commissioners Sammy Yearty and Tony Parker were suspended from office by Gov. Charlie Crist, following federal indictments.

  • What it really comes down to is osmosis. You remember osmosis, don't you? In high school science, you learned that's the process that lets stuff pass through the membrane that surrounds your cells. Osmosis lets the good stuff in and the bad stuff out, trading spent fuel for new fuel. It keeps you alive.

    The funny thing about osmosis (other than the name) is that it's automatic. There's no conscious thought involved. That's why if you get stranded at sea, like Tom Hanks in Castaway, you mustn't drink seawater, even if you're dying of thirst.

  • Goofy. Giving. Wonderful. Funny. Guileless. Childlike.

    Words. Only words.

    But words that define the personality of a man who was so complex, yet so simple in his nature.

    When word reached me Friday evening that my star sports editor–and dear friend–Claude Lewis had died, I, like everyone else, was stunned.

    Two hours before, he and I had a wonderful conversation, laughed about pushy people and poor biographers and threatened each other with "You have to do THAT story."

  • I enjoy lively, spirited conversation. And in order to enjoy that, I have to like being around people.

    No doubt in anyone's mind, I am a people-person. I come by it naturally, because everyone-and I mean everyone-on my father's side of the family was blessed with the gift of gab.

    At family gatherings, it was difficult at the end of the day to figure out just what you may have gleaned from each other because topics were broad, loud and scattered.

    In high school, I put that gift to good use by being in the Speech Club and arguing on the debate team.

  • One of these days, I'm going to write something nice about football officials.

    Sorry, this isn't that day.

    Watching the NFL game between the Jaguars and Titans on Sunday, I clearly saw Maurice Jones-Drew scamper into the end zone on a run.

    Incredibly, the refs on the field wanted to spot the ball on the 1.

    The replay clearly showed the score, so Jags coach Jack DelRio challenged.

    Even more incredibly, the call on the field was upheld.

    Which brings me to another point.

    Why does the NFL employ replay officials in every stadium, anyway?

  • I enjoy my job about 80 percent of the time. For the most part, coming into the office is not work. It's about the challenges I will face as I watch the puzzle you call a newspaper come together from all over the building into one tight little package.

    The last week of June I received a call from Francis Akins to tell me one of his staff was retiring. It was too close to deadline to do anything for that week's paper, but I pledged I'd be in Bronson Friday afternoon.

    "He doesn't say much," Akins warned before hanging up.